There’s a man seated in the cafe wearing what on first glance appears to traditional Japanese attire, an over sized jumper that goes beyond his knees. The garment is bright blue, made from the same material used for tracksuit bottoms and it looks brand new. He has long hair and is reading from his phone, holding it in portrait view and reading vertical lines of the beautiful, intricate tiny pictures and symbols that are Kanji.

This reminds me of the magazines I wanted to share with you in the photo today. Magazines are read from what British people would call back to front. The text is sometimes horizontal and sometimes vertical, and can be any mix or combination of their three alphabets – Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. So I tend to look at the pictures.

Apparently there’s a new version of the Charlie and The Chocolate Factory story coming to the cinemas soon/now. Taiga told me so and he’s very interested in this timeless piece, so I used it as a lever to establish a new bedtime reading routine. My parents very kindly posted me their copy of the book. We opened the parcel and Taiga asked “Can I touch it, Daddy?” followed by, Why are the pages all brown?”

Anyway, it was amazing they’d kept it, and it has felt heart warming to read from the same copy to Taiga this week. Before reading aloud to him I read the chosen chapter to myself first, and i’ve been thoroughly enjoying the whole process because this book is so well written. Stating the absolute obvious I know, but it really does flow like a chocolate fountain.

Bedtime reading is new for Taiga and I. When he lived in England I was largely absent in the evening routine as that was when i’d be out working, playing gigs, recording or delivering workshops. It’s a blessing to have the time to indulge in this whilst i’m here in Japan and a bit of Roald Dahl’s gotta be good for his English skills. He took a bit of persuading at the start, but we have managed four nights on the trot now and last night he didn’t want me to stop, which brought a sense of warmth to my heart.

Dan x

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